Multiple Insurers

If any of the following situations apply to you, your other insurance may be primary to Medicare, meaning the other insurance pays first:

  • You have Medicare; are still working; and are covered by your employer’s health insurance plan
  • You have Medicare, are retired, but your spouse is working and has a health plan that also covers you; or
  • You are injured on the job, in an automobile accident, or slip and fall at a shopping center (worker’s compensation, auto insurance or liability insurance may cover the cost of medical care related to the accident).

You can contact the Coordination of Benefits Contractor at 800-999-1118 for questions about, or to report changes in, your primary insurance. Medicare has a dedicated "Coordination of Benefits Contractor" that keeps track of when Medicare is primary or when another insurer is primary.

If you have other insurance and it pays after Medicare, it is called your supplemental insurance. Supplemental insurance often covers the deductible and/or co-payments required by Medicare. Examples include:

  • Retiree insurance from your former employer or union;
  • Medigap insurance;
  • Tricare for Life (for military retirees); and
  • Medicaid.

If you change your supplemental insurance, or are experiencing problems with supplemental insurance payments, you need to call your old and new supplemental insurance companies. If you have questions about how your supplemental insurance works with Medicare, contact the supplemental insurer.